News tagged ‘U.S.’
Today, during the education-focused media event Apple
The U.S. International Trade Commission has ruled a couple of days ago that Motorola's Droid line of smartphones does not violate Apple's patents.
"We are pleased with today's favorable outcome for Motorola Mobility," Scott Offer, senior vice president and general counsel of Motorola Mobility, said in a statement. "Motorola Mobility has worked hard over the years to develop technology and build an industry-leading intellectual property portfolio. We are proud to leverage this broad and deep portfolio to create differentiated innovations that enhance the user experience."
According to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, Apple was awarded a total of 676 patents in 2011. Now Apple is No. 39 among companies awarded inventions in the U.S., comparing with the last year result, when Apple won 563 patents and was ranked the No. 46 global company in terms of inventions.
The No. 1 inventor in America was IBM, which was awarded 6,180 patents in 2011. The second place belongs to Samsung, which won 4,894 inventions outside of its home country of Korea. The third place took Canon with 2,821 patents. Panasonic came in the fourth place with 2,559, while Toshiba took fifth with 2,483 inventions. Microsoft is in the sixth place, with 2,311 patents, Hewlett-Packard with 1,308 patents in 14th place, Intel with 1,244 patents in 16th place, and AT&T, whose 721 patents put it in 35th.
Research group Gartner released preliminary PC shipment results for the fourth quarter of 2011, showing that Apple climbed to third place among U.S. PC vendors as the rest of the top five vendors saw shipments decline year over year. Apple saw 20.7 percent growth of Mac sales in the U.S. market from the year ago quarter, and took the No. 3 spot behind HP and Dell.
However, customers shied away from the world's largest PC maker in the fourth quarter, causing a 26.1 percent decline year over year. Shipments fell from 5.6 million in the last quarter of 2010 to 4.1 million. Dell had a 4.5 percent decline in shipments from 4.2 million in the year ago quarter to 4.0 million in the most recent quarter.
On Tuesday Kodak has filed lawsuits against Apple and HTC claiming infringement of patent violations regarding the sharing of digital pictures between various electronic devices. The claim accuses Apple of violating four digital photography patents Kodak said it obtained after "concluding it would be desirable for people to easily share pictures" from digital cameras without having to first upload them to a central PC. Apple and HTC are likely to cooperate with each other over the Kodak suit, although the companies are suing each other.
Essentially, any Apple product with a camera is affected by the proposed suit, but specifically cited examples include the iPad 2, iPhone 3G, iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4, iPhone 4S, and the iPod touch (4th generation).It is unclear whether software like Apple's Photo Stream, which allows digital images taken on one iDevice to be pushed to other devices through the company's iCloud, or other third-party apps that allow for image transfer over Bluetooth or WiFi are being targeted in the suit.
According to latest data from research firm NPD, iPhone 4S is turning the tables in the tough competition between Samsung and Apple. Analyzing U.S. smartphone sales data for November and October, the NPD found out that iOS considerably increased its share in U.S. smartphone sales, while the Android platform lost significant share to Apple (
The San Francisco Chronicle reports that California's Supreme Court has affirmed a $920,000 tax refund for Apple dating back to 1989, but it refused to hear the company's request to lower its tax bill for income earned abroad. The court upheld an appellate ruling earlier this week that returned $231,000 in taxes to Apple, along with $689,000 in interest.
However, it is only a partial win, as the Supreme Court rejected Apple's request to reevaluate tax rates on foreign-earned income. "Apple argued that its foreign dividends from that year should be attributed to income from previous years that had already been taxed," the report read.
Analyst Michael Walkley with Canaccord Genuity expects that combined iPhone and iPad sales in calendar 2012 to reach more than 170 million in another record breaking 12-month span. He sees 2012 being another banner year for Apple, with sales of 116.4 million iPhones and 54.6 million iPads. Walkley believes that iOS mobile operating system share will reach 18 percent, and will take the second place behind only Google's Android with 51.9 percent on sales of 335.5 million handsets.
"We believe Apple sold through at least (12 million) iPhone units in the U.S. market during the December quarter," Walkley wrote. "With some channel inventory built for the new 4S, we believe the U.S. market could exceed (14 million) iPhones sold into the channel during the December quarter."
Telecom network technology firm Arieso has found that data usage of the iPhone 4 was 1.6 times higher than the iPhone 3G, while iPad 2 tablets consumed 2.5 times more data. The iPhone 4S was the heaviest on usage with three times the amount used by the iPhone 3G.
"I use the iPhone 4 myself and when I first heard of the iPhone 4S features I was not compelled to rush out and get one. However, the data usage numbers I am seeing make me wonder what I am missing," Arieso's chief technology officer, Michael Flanagan, said of the study.
Flanagan also noted that tablet usage closely resembled that of high-end smartphones. "A tablet still looks like a big smartphone," he said. Bloomberg also confirms Arieso's research claiming that one percent of the high-use subscribers consumed half of the data volumes. “The hungry are getting hungrier,” Flanagan said.
The rise in iPhone data consumption comes as Sprint is the only U.S. network to offer an unlimited data plan. The iPhone has actually brought broad changes in the wireless industry. AT&T, Apple's original carrier partner in the U.S., was initially surprised by the amount of data users consumed. The iPhone maker has also opted to wait for 4G LTE to become more mature. CEO Tim Cook said that the first generation of LTE chipsets required "design compromises" that Apple was unwilling to make. Apple may release LTE iPad and iPhone models this year.
The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office has granted Apple an original iPhone patent for editing lists by using touch gestures. Such technology gives an opportunity for inventions regarding use of the handset as a portable hard drive and a filing for the company's now defunct Bluetooth headset.
The original touchscreen patent, first filed for in June 2007, covers a method for displaying and managing lists on a portable multifunction device, and details a simple computer user interface controlled by finger gestures rather than a sequence of button presses and stylus touches. What the abstract describes is the basic list management system found on current iOS devices.
Included in the patent background is a look at the state of portable devices at the time, which Apple claimed "resorted to adding more pushbuttons, increasing the density of push buttons, overloading the functions of pushbuttons, or using complex menu systems to allow a user to access, store and manipulate data." A far cry from what the company eventually released in the original one-button iPhone.
The company explains that devices which rely on physical pushbuttons are inherently limited in their configurability, and that a conventional user may find it frustrating to operate such an inflexible interface.
Because such devices are designed to read the precise pinpoint contact of the stylus (when a user makes a selection on the touch screen with the stylus), making selections on the touch screen of the device without a stylus, for example, with a user's finger, can prove to be somewhat difficult.
According to Reuter’s
Yesterday startup CloudOn launched a free
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Kevin Rivette, managing partner at intellectual property firm 3LP Advisors LLC, said in an interview with Bloomberg that if Apple were to abandon its lawsuits against Android smartphone manufacturers and instead negotiate licensing fees for its patented technology, Apple could collect $10 for each Android device sold. But as far as we know Apple is not interested in licensing Apple's patented technology to Android manufacturers. Steve Jobs called the Android products as the “stolen” ones and wanted “to go thermonuclear war” against Android.
"A scorched-earth strategy is bad news because it doesn't optimize the value of their patents -- because people will get around them," Rivette told Bloomberg.
"It's like a dam. Using their patents to keep rivals out is like putting rocks in a stream. The stream is going to find a way around. Wouldn't it be better to direct where the water goes?"
Such approach makes mobile devices manufacturers to modify their infringing products and work around Apple's intellectual property. For example, earlier this month, the U.S. International Trade Commission found that HTC was in violation of an Apple patent related to "Data Detectors," but only a day later HTC said it was testing new devices that work around Apple's patent.